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Abu Shusheh: Women did not Fall Behind the Top Positions of their Own Free Will


Translated by Sabrin Qadah

Ms. Maha Abu Shousha, mother of 4 children, director of Abu Shousha Contracting Company, Chairman of the Palestinian Businesswomen Forum, member of the Board of Trustees of Al Quds University, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Rwaq (Palestinian Foundation for the Conservation of Architectural Heritage). She also was the head director of the Freight Council (which represents the Palestinian importers and exporters), and is a founder member in the Pal Trade company and Sakakini Cultural center.

A multi-tasked woman who is passionate about social work and her field of work, she seems optimistic about a more equal Palestinian future with men in the job market. Currently working in many cultural companies and institutions.

Maha was born in 1962 in Ramallah and studied at Birzeit University where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics. She began her career with the joint management of Abu Shousha Contracting Company in 1983, a road construction company.

Her father died in 1988 to take on the tasks she inherited after him, and was appointed general manager of the company.

One of the special additions made by Abu Shousha to the family’s company was the establishment of an exclusive agency for Peugeot Automobiles in Palestine.


Triangle of Youth success

Abu Shousha considers that there is an important triad in the academic life of any young person who wishes success and excellence. The elements of this trinity are to choose the appropriate specialization for the needs of the labor market and the abilities of the student, explaining that this can be achieved through the educational system in the first school stages, to choose the best.

After the specialization, there is a need for practical training during the study, and investment of their university time to get experience in conjunction with the study, "study alone is not enough and experience is the most important."

In addition, she invited students to take care of their abilities and develop them in terms of their native and secondary language, and raise their abilities in other skills that enhance their resume and make them the first choice for employers.


Vocational education ..what markets lack

In the same context, Abu Shousha believes that the vocational education sector is weak and oppressed in society, as it does not attract students and their families among the specialties, although it is of a high economic feasability.

Here, Abu Shousha proposes to the specialists to find a solution to this dilemma: to find places and centers of technical education with multiple specialties, and raise the level to encourage students to join them, and then the granting of certificates and appropriate status for professionals in the community, and therefore will be no excuse for anyone to choose a specialty that leads to unemployment.


Women are cross-functional

"Your distinction is measured by the size of your patience and your ability to work and compete without paying attention to your sex. The market is ruthless," Abu Shusha said when asked about the possibility of sex making a difference in the labor market.

Abu Shousha believes that the excuses are rejected, explaining that those who remain and develop in work, whether for men or women, are: the most powerful, challenging and creative.

In response to a constant question in the market, where are women absent in senior positions in the economic sectors, abu Shosheh said: "Women and men are partners in establishing a family and raising children, but the role of women in pregnancy, childbearing, childcare is hindering them from catching up. During the first 5-10 years of her career, which is the culmination of work, development and experience, women are engaged in the task of procreation and raising children while men work without breaks or even leaves to achieve their own.

She added that women's daily responsibility to take care of the affairs of their home and their husband after their return from work increases the burden on them, knowing that care of our children is a shared responsibility between men and women, in which society bears part of the responsibility, where the role of nursery should be provided near the workplaces of working women and the development of soft policies Supporting the work of women, as  providing the infrastructure for the care of children is a social responsibility.

Abu Shousha believes that there are many women who occupy senior positions in important economic establishments. There is a growing trend for women in the labor market in a growing and noticeable manner, which is a positive indicator.

Mrs. Abu Shousha was able to win a vote on Forbes Arabia's list of the 50 most influential Arab businesswomen in 2006, and continues to work with the same spirit of giving and working hard to maintain he connection with the community and its institutions supporting heritage, creativity and entrepreneurship. .

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